A leading source for news and analysis about Mexico and the U.S.-Mexican border.
Jaime Martínez Veloz, Mexico's new commissioner for indigenous groups, said Saturday that he is working to get greater institutional support for such groups in Tijuana.
Martínez Veloz, a former federal congressman for the Institutional Revolutionary Party who lost the 2001 Tijuana mayor's race to Jesús González Reyes of the National Action Party, made reference to Baja California's native groups such as the Kumiai, PaiPai, Kiliwas, Cucapá, and Cochimies, but indicated that the groups that may need the most help have migrated to Baja California from Guerrero, Oaxaca, Chiapas, and Veracruz states.
He said that institutional support is well below what it should be, and that he is working to get greater federal and local help for indigenous groups in Tijuana. He noted that Tijuana does have bilingual preschool, primary and middle schools for indigenous children who speak Mixtec and Zapotec, but said more needs to be done.
He spoke to the Grupo Político Tijuana.
Martínez Veloz in recent years has spent a lot of time outside Baja California, although he said he did have a home, which he called an apartment, in Tijuana. He has been fighting Sempra's LNG plant in Ensenada. Asked Saturday whether he was going to continue to oppose Sempra activities in the state, Martínez Veloz, clearly not wishing to have to answer the question, merely nodded his head up and down in assent.
On LinkedIn, he wrote at some point in the recent past: "An immediate objetive is to keep Baja California from continuing to be transformed into the Basement of Machines of the United States, through the installation of Natural Liquid Gas Terminals and plants of Electrical Energy Generation for Export."
On Friday, Sempra Mexico sought permission to sells its shares on the Mexican stock exchange, Bloomberg News Service reported. Many believe Mexico will pass a long-overdue energy reform this year. Bloomberg said the state oil company Pemex in January announced a joint venture with Sempra to build a natural-gas pipeline connecting Mexico with the United States. In October, Sempra won a contract with the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) to build and operate a 500-mile, $1 billion gas pipeline network connecting Sinaloa, Sonora and Arizona. The pipeline would deliver natural gas to CFE power plants currently using fuel oil, OGJ Technology said. Natural gas generally costs less in the United States than it does for Mexico to produce it.
Story, Bloomberg News Service. Story, OGJ Technology.
Martínez Veloz column in La Jornada in November.
The LinkedIn page also said Martínez Veloz had been representing the Chiapas state government before the COCOPA, the federal Congress's Commission for Peace and Reconciliation for indigenous groups, from September 2007 to November 2012. COCOPA now has become the agency he became the commissioner of last month.
Martínez Veloz, trained as an architect at the University of Coahuila and a longtime activist for the downtrodden, also handed out and signed copies of his 2011 book, Crónica de una Utopía (History of a Utopia), about his battle to try to become rector of the university when he was a younger man. His book says that there was a three-way race for rector, and that he wound up blocking national humor columnist and historian Armando Fuentes Aguirre, also known as "Catón," from getting the post. The book says he now regrets that blocking move, saying Fuentes Aguirre probably would have been a much better rector than the man he helped get into office, who he said immediately broke his promises.
On Saturday, Martínez Veloz also said he thought the PRI had an excellent chance of winning the Baja California governor's post for the first time since the National Action Party's Ernesto Ruffo wrested the position away from the PRI in 1989.
Veloz means fast, and it is a name that Tijuana jokesters have some fun with, including saying that he is fast to change parties, as he long was with the PRI, then ran for office for the PRD, and now is representing a PRI national government again.